Nathan is a former RAF Regiment Gunner who, whilst serving in Iraq in 2003, was involved in a landmine blast, seriously injuring his left foot and he suffered severe shrapnel wounds.
Nathan was on a reconnaissance mission when one of his patrol's Land Rovers hit an anti-tank mine after they mistakenly entered an Iraqi minefield. The problems did not end for Nathan.
He suffered depression and anger until his daughter was born in 2013. But within nine months, she had to endure two open heart surgeries and was diagnosed with dwarfism and autism. This led to strains on his marriage and ultimately it broke down. Still his problems did not end and in 2017, he suffered a stroke and his mental health spiralled downwards, unable to shower, feed or tie his shoelaces for himself.
Watching the Invictus Games in 2018, he was inspired to contact Help for Heroes and said it was like “a switch being flicked inside his head.”
“Since starting my journey I’ve opened more to my partner and family which has helped massively and I’m feeling less angry and frustrated. From the moment of my first training camp through to the UK Team trials, I was overwhelmed with the team spirit, support and encouragement. It blew me away how everyone was there for each other willing them on to do their best. That camaraderie and friendship was exactly what I loved and missed about being in the forces and Help for Heroes and Team UK has given that back to me.”
Nathan initially struggled with a lack of access to training facilities during lockdown, but soon adapted with support from Help for Heroes through the provision of online classes.
“I used the time to work on my mobility and I’m now raring to get back into training and performing well for Team UK out in The Hague.
“I’m the happiest I’ve been in years and I believe starting this journey ultimately saved my relationship and life.”